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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 09, 2007

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Waterfront Reflections
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Top Stories
U.S. News
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Fish Factor: Halibut prices start out higher than ever before By LAINE WELCH - It used to be that Alaska halibut prices would plummet when summer salmon fisheries got underway - but that's not the case anymore.

When the season opened in early March, halibut prices started out higher than ever before, well over $5 a pound in major ports. They're down a bit now, but not by much, and still about 70-cents a pound higher across the board than at the same time last year.

Halibut prices are traditionally broken out by three weight classes. At Kodiak, prices to fishermen were holding fairly steady at $3.80 a pound for fish weighing 10 to 20 pounds, $4.10 for 20 to 40 pounders and $4.35 for '40 ups.'

At Homer, prices were ranging from $4.25-$4.90 per pound and low landings were resulting in "aggressive buying."

At Dutch Harbor, prices were being paid on a trip by trip basis but were said to be "much higher" than at the same time last year, meaning in the $3.50 and above range.

In Southeast Alaska, halibut prices had bumped up a dime from the start of the season to $3.80 - $4.20 and $4.40 a pound.

"Fresh halibut seems unstoppable in terms of demand, no matter what the price at either retail or food service," said market analyst Ken Talley. "There is little if any downward trend in halibut prices at the wholesale level. Demand remains quite strong, especially for fresh fish, which is having an impact on frozen inventory."

Talley said the demand for frozen halibut has boosted wholesale prices since the March opening from $5.35 a pound (for 40-60s) to $5.65 and above.

Lower landings is one factor that is keeping prices high, and deliveries could lag further as many fishermen shift to salmon. salmon. Complicating the supply picture, Talley said, is the import situation. The weakened dollar makes it less attractive to send imports, including halibut, to the U.S.

"Importers have been losing out to buyers from Europe, where halibut is a popular item. U.S. buyers simply can't pay enough for the imported product to make it as worthwhile for overseas suppliers as it has been. Norwegian buyers, for example, are often outbidding U.S. importers for frozen halibut from Russia. This inability to get all the halibut needed is another factor in higher prices," he said.

Eighteen million pounds (36%) of Alaska' 52 million pound halibut catch limit was taken by June 8. Kodiak was the leading port for landings, getting nearly 19 percent of all deliveries. That's followed by Seward, Homer, Sitka and Petersburg.

Halibut now ranks as Alaska's third most valuable fishery, last year worth a record $193 million to longliners lucky enough to hold quota shares of the prized fish. The average Alaska halibut price last year was $3.71/lb. The fishery ends in mid-November. - More...
Saturday - June 09, 2007

Best Western Landing Hotel...

Best Western Landing Hotel in Ketchikan ranked first in customer care among more than 2,400 North American Best Western properties.
Photo courtesy Best Western Landing Hotel

Ketchikan Business: Best Western Landing Hotel in Ketchikan ranked first in customer care - Best Western International recently announced the First Quarter Customer Care Performance Rankings among all Best Western properties in North America, and the Best Western Landing Hotel in Ketchikan ranked first in customer care among more than 2,400 North American Best Western properties.

By ranking number one in the Best Western system, this signifies the property did not receive one complaint over the past 12 months. The ranking was based on the number of complaints received over a yearlong period. Each Best Western in North America is ranked in conjunction with the feedback provided by Best Western guests via telephone, email and mail. - More...
Saturday - June 09, 2007

Southeast Alaska: Harris River Watershed Rehabilitation EA Decision Issued - The Tongass National Forest will be working to restore and enhance stream ecosystems this summer in the Harris River watershed, located near the community of Hollis, Alaska on Prince of Wales Island. The project, as outlined in the Harris River Watershed Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment (EA) Decision Notice (DN) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), is the final in a suite of rehabilitation projects in the watershed. These projects reduce sedimentation in watershed streams, promote healthy and stable fish and wildlife populations, and improve visitor access and interpretation opportunities.

In making his decision, Craig District Ranger Greg Killinger stated, "We are excited to begin this important work. Our local communities are dependent on healthy fish runs and wildlife resources-this restoration and enhancement work will improve these resources while providing local employment opportunities." Specifically, the project will eliminate artificial fish barriers, reduce stream bank erosion and diversion potential, and improve hydrologic connectivity, as well as improve trails. Thinning activities in young growth stands will emphasize wildlife and riparian values. Components of the decision will proceed as funding allows, potentially taking up to 10 years to complete all projects within the selected alternative. The Forest will be partnering with the State to complete those elements of the decision that occur on State land. - More...
Saturday - June 09, 2007



Basic Rules

letter Alaskans getting the short end of the stick By Melissa O'Bryan By Melissa O'Bryan - Sunday
letter Senior Benefits by Rep. Mike Hawker - Saturday
letter The senior class of 2007 had a party and...... By Ardath Piston - Saturday
letter Congratulations By Cecelia Johnson - Saturday
letter Slobcard By Glen Thompson - Saturday
letter Leaving The Path By Ken Levy - Saturday
letter Airline's special sale By Charles (Chuck) Moon - Saturday
letterGood News for America By Mike Isaac - Saturday
letter TOP TAX RATE TOO LOW By Paul G. Jaehnert - Saturday
letter Immigration Bill By Peg Travis - Saturday
letter Land Use Density Limitations By Rob Skinner - Wednesday PM
letter Bars or jewelry stores? By Mellanie Isner - Wednesday PM
letter LOOPHOLES IN IMMIGRATION BILL By Byron Whitesides - Wednesday PM
letter YOU'VE GOT SLOBCARD - YOU DESERVE IT, USE IT! By Jerry Cegelske - Wednesday PM
letter Immigration Bill By Jake Jacobson - Wednesday PM
letter The Great Pronouncer By Mike Sawyer - Wednesday PM
letter THE BANK(S)? TO NOWHERE By David G. Hanger - Monday
letter Clean Up & Poster Contest By Jerry Cegelske - Sunday
letter Immigration Bill: An Open Letter By Byron Whitesides - Sunday
letter Borrow and Spend By Robert Rice - Sunday
letter More Excuses at UAS By Robert D. Warner - Sunday
letter RE: Top 10 Reasons to Live in KTN By Charlotte Tanner - Sunday
letter Top Ten Reasons for Someone to live in Ketchikan By Kayleigh Martin - Sunday
letter Bus #8 Students By Yeda Hicks - Sunday
letter Gas Prices By Andy Williams - Sunday
letterMore Letters/Viewpoints
letter Send Your Letter For Publication To:


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 Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: An Airline Upgrade You Don't Want - Tired of sitting in a cramped economy class on a long plane flight?

Try dying.

It seems that an elderly woman recently died on a flight from India to London and British Airways upgraded her corpse to First Class.

This, of course, was a horrifying turn of events for the other first class passengers who paid somewhere around 250,000 Indian Rupees (about $5,800) for the privilege of not being squeezed in with the steerage, uh, economy folks.

On one hand, it seems very unseemly to even try to sympahize with a group of wealthy people who are "inconvenienced" by what is truly a tragedy to someone else's family.

But on the other hand, you have admit that waking up from an in-flight nap to find that there is a deceased person in the next seat has got to be a pretty gut wrenching experience. - More...
Saturday - June 09, 2007

Bill Steigerwald: Why Not A Global Free Market For Workers? - No one really expected the bipartisan compromise reform bill that President Bush, Ted Kennedy and their allies assembled in the Senate to fix immigration.

The now-derailed "grand bargain" -- which most conservatives hated -- was, as Rudy Giuliani said, "a typical Washington mess."

It mixed a bunch of tougher border security measures and employer sanctions that would never be enforced with a bunch of drawn-out legal steps that would slowly but surely have provided amnesty for the up to 20 million illegal immigrants trespassing among us.

All of which begs the depressing question: Can we ever hope to develop a rational, humane, win-win immigration system that will allow millions of foreigners to come here to work or live (permanently or temporarily) without wrecking our economy or culture? - More...
Sunday - June 10, 2007

Michael Reagan: Pandermania On The Left - There's a little bit of the "gimmie" mentality in all of us, and it's that unattractive part of our psyche that demagogic politicians take aim at when trying to win our support.

The Democratic left wing (is there any other wing of that party nowadays?) is out in full hue and cry, hoping to evoke in the masses a deep yearning for whatever goodies the government can shell out. They think we all have our hands out and they strive to pledge to fill them with new and better government giveaways.

It's an interesting spectacle to watch as the various Democratic presidential wannabes try to move further left than any of their rivals in an effort to out-promise each other. Last week when Obama pitched his socialized medicine program, Hillary slipped around his left side with her Marxist solutions for every imaginable problem known to humankind (oops, I almost said the M word - mankind). - More...
Sunday - June 10, 2007

Dale McFeatters: Senate stalls, problem remains - Last month, a bipartisan group of senators emerged from weeks of meetings to announce a "grand bargain" on immigration reform. Their fellow senators didn't find it so grand, and on Thursday night the chamber fell 15 votes short of even agreeing to bring the bill to a final vote.

The defeat was an embarrassing rebuff for President Bush, made more so because it was administered by his own party. It was a victory only for those who are comfortable with the status quo on immigration for another couple of years.

The longer reform remains in limbo the less likely it is to pass before the 2008 election. And the Senate isn't even the biggest hurdle; immigration reform is much more controversial in the House.

For the moment, U.S. immigration policy consists of building more walls and barriers and hiring more border agents. But even support for that is likely to wane without the help of lawmakers who favored border barricades only as part of an ultimate broader reform. - More....
Sunday - June 10, 2007

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